Smartphones Outselling Feature Phones For The First Time Ever
Smartphones are now outselling cheaper feature phones for the first time in history, according to new findings from research firm IDC.
Tracking shipments over the first three months of 2013, 51.6% of the 418.6 million mobile phones shipped were smartphones. The number of phones shipped for the traditionally slow quarter (Q4 2012, the holiday season, saw shipments hit 483.2 million) rose year-on-year too, with 2012’s Q1 shipments peaking at 402.4 million.
“Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones.”
Samsung Electronics continues to dominate. It shipped 70.7 million smartphones during the first quarter, 60.7 percent more than a year earlier, according to IDC.
Apple remains the second-largest smartphone vendor, shipping 37.4 million iPhones. That’s an annual growth rate of just 6.6 percent, though, the slowest of the top five vendors. The last time iPhone sales posted a single-digit year-on-year growth rate was in the third quarter of 2009.
LG, on the other hand, managed to more that double its shipments, to 10.3 million units. That was enough to outship both Huawei Technologies and ZTE, which last year were ahead of the South Korean vendor. LG’s growth was driven in large part by its 3G smartphone portfolio, including the L series and the Nexus 4. LTE-enabled devices, including the Optimus G series, also contributed to LG’s success, according to IDC.